(Thursday, August 25th)
On Thursday, August 25th, the news of approaching hurricane Irene was buzzing away on the TV, local stations doing their best to build up some drama and suspense. At that point they were saying category 3, and telling everyone along the coast to batten down their hatches. Apparently, a lot of people took their words to heart. I had to make a quick trip to the grocery store, and I think all of Savannah was there. It was around 4:00 PM, and the big crowd was not typical for a week day or that time. At all. People were driving like maniacs, speeding around the parking lot almost hitting people. "Good grief, people...this isn't 'the rapture', it's just a hurricane that probably won't even hit us!" The Georgia coast is kind of set back from the coastline above us, and reports were that Irene would most likely pass us a bit farther to the east. Savannah was definitely not going to get the 'eye' treatment from Irene, and in my opinion, if we were lucky we would get some rain out of her as she passed by.
(Early morning of Friday, August 26th, before the rain started.)
My insomnia was in full swing, so I decided to make my wakeful night a productive one, and work on a couple of blog entries. At one point around 4:00 AM, I thought I heard some thunder, but nothing was falling at that point. At around 6:00, I heard a rushing sound outside, and took a look out of the window. It was very breezy, and the sky was darkening by the minute. I walked down to my usual spot at the marsh, and the sky was filling with beautiful, billowy clouds in different shades of a slate blue. I could smell the storm. It was these sensory observations that told me we would get rain...but how much? No way to know... (Please note that the times I stated are approximate...insomnia = wonky brain.)
Within an hour or so, the rain arrived. Tree branches and bushes were whipping around in the strong winds. The above still photograph shows it raining, but it doesn't properly illustrate just how chaotic it was out there. The rain was torrential. I was thrilled. I know that there are areas farther up the coast that are supposed to get hammered by the more severe sectors of the storm, but I couldn't help it. I love rain. The more, the better. The severity lessened a bit, and became more of a moderate and steady rain that continued on and off throughout the day. There were even a few pockets of the sun forcing its way through the clouds.
As the day began to draw to a close, the sky became quiet, and a dark calm settled itself over the marsh. It felt like Autumn. Moody and mysterious, with an otherworldly hue to the diminishing natural light. I wish Irene could have visited a bit longer...we really need rain here. I did enjoy what she gave us.
As I write this, I am sure that the first predicted stop on Irene's course, North Carolina, has seen her arrival. I'm about to go take a look at the Weather Channel to see what the latest is. Here's to hoping that she isn't misbehaving too badly...